asclepias viridis

The Miniest of Vacations

There is one side effect of the pandemic virus that no one talks about, one that has affected ME greatly. Not talking about it won’t help matters. It’s time we discuss this like adults.

The virus has made the humans even more boring.

They don’t go anywhere. They don’t do anything. They don’t even buy anything fun anymore. Something has got to change–they’re just gathering dust.

Maybe today we can change that. It turns out that there’s a farmer’s market on the north end of town. Surely that’s something we can do if it’s not too crowded?

Sigyn is having fun already, having been distracted by the weird flowers of the wild milkweed on the side of the road.

We may never actually make it to the market…

It’s actually a fairly pleasant morning. Maybe they’ll have something delicious and breakfasty…

Look, Sigyn! Mad Taco has a tent! We like that place, don’t we?

We haven’t had any for a while because all their stuff is best right out of their kitchen and loses something as takeout. Cold parsley-garlic fries are just…sad. Still, they’re selling the yummy tamale bread they make their tacos on, and that keeps in the freezer. I insist we buy some of that! Be sure to get one of the tickets for the drawing. Every time we buy something, we get a ticket, and the winner gets a big basket with something from every vendor!

While we’re waiting, Sigyn, let’s check out the next booth over. Red pepper vinegar. I know you like the color, sweetie, but I’m not sure you’d like the contents of the curvaceous bottle. Might be fun to sneak into the human female’s food, though…

The next booth down is selling home-made soap. Pumpkin spice, eh?

I suppose it is that time of year. Would you like one of the little soap pumpkins?

Great Frigga’s hairpins! There’s a big knot of people and a commotion up ahead! Is there a band? A juggler? Someone giving away samples?

Snort. No.

Yes, Sigyn–of course you can pet him. No, I don’t think he’s for sale. He’d probably chew up the humans’ shoes even more than Flannel Cat does, though, so perhaps a puppy is something to seriously consider…

Mmmm! We definitely need to buy something in the next stall!

It’s not as sweet as Sigyn, but I can’t put Sigyn on toast.

What’s next? Herbs. There is basil, rosemary, and what’s this?

Never heard of it. What’s it good for? Hey, human female! You’re a walking plant primer. What do you do with this stuff?

Oh, good against gas? You should definitely have mercy on the people who share the house with you and buy some. Please.

Uh, oh. Zinnias ahead. I may never get Sigyn out of this next booth.

Human female, I will buy you a fragrant, colorful bouquet if you promise to nibble the castor bean foliage.

And that is about it, since the ice cream sandwich booth is out of everything interesting. There is nothing left to do except buy some samosas and biryani and the Indian food stall and wait to see if we won the gift basket. The humans put in several tickets, and I signed my name on a whole roll of tickets and put them in the jar when no one was looking.

Rats. Still didn’t win. Sigyn, we’ll just have to come back!

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I Don’t See Mint *OR* A Spring, Part II: Some Viney Things, Some Goopy Things, and … Stuff

There aren’t just little sand-lovers here.  There are some good vines for climbing and swinging.

The Alabama supplejack (who names this stuff?!  Whoever it is has been imbibing/sniffing/snorting something!)  has smooth bark and pretty leaves.

berchemia

It’s also called “rattan vine,” which is profoundly misleading, since it has absolutely nothing to do with splintery patio furniture.   The little green flowers on this vine aren’t very showy.

No, for showy, you need this one–coral honeysuckle:

nativehoneysuckle

Three guesses why Sigyn likes it so much.  We have met this plant before, when Sigyn proved conclusively that sometimes the red flowers are orange inside.  Today she seems content just to dangle.  I don’t blame her.  It is spring, after all.

Coral honeysuckle is native, well-behaved, and attractive to hummingbirds.  (Sigyn would like to pet a hummingbird.  I keep trying to tell her they’re vicious, stabby little beggars, but she doesn’t believe me.)

I, on the other hand, prefer the exotic Japanese honeysuckle.

japhoneysuckle

It has weird one-sided flowers that open out of crooked buds.  It’s highly aggressive, choking out anything that crosses its path.  The human female is allergic to its nectar, and she once spent all night barfing after sampling just a few flowers’ worth.

I plan to plant a dozen or so in her backyard.

Sigyn, what have you got over there?

Idunn’s little green apples, what on earth are those?

milkweed

Let’s see:  five sepals, five weird green petals, five purple

Five purple what?  And what is that tall bit in the center of each blossom?  And what’s with the goopy, milky sap?  Sigyn, I think you should get down from there–I’m not sure this one is actually from this planet.  There’s no telling where it’s been!

Or what who it might have for dinner.

Whew!  I’m sure this plant is much safer.  Sigyn, let the human female boost you up so that you can smell the flowers.  What’s that?  Sweet, but a little onion-y?  I wonder why?

onion

Sigyn’s not really interested in digging one up to see if they really are onions.  She just likes the way they come in every shade from white to purple.

Ooo!  Be careful of this next one!  It has spiky, spiny foliage and the enormous flower head is crawling with bees!

thistle

Upon closer observation, however, I can see that those aren’t bees but big, bumbling beetles just gorging themselves on pollen!

Speaking of gorging, I do believe it is dinner time!  Let’s head for home and see what we can rustle up.  We can always come back another day.

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